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"Being able to study at a distance was crucial for me"

Published: 10 March 2021

Fanny Kohberg, Maintenance engineer at LKAB in Kiruna

What does the role of maintenance engineer mean?

The maintenance engineer leads the strategic maintenance work in the business, which means that you have great opportunities to influence how the preventive maintenance is to be conducted in order to ensure high availability and product quality. It is also about improvement work and upgrading of equipment to maintain competitiveness and at the same time contribute to a positive sustainable development. The work includes everything from being a project manager for preventive maintenance stoppages, to analyzing data and tracking error causes to various problems in order to be able to initiate the right maintenance measures.

What did the road there look like?

I attended the science program in high school, and when I worked in a store for a couple of years after graduation, I felt like I wanted to change careers and apply for a college education. I studied to become a university engineer in maintenance technology at Luleå University of Technology for three years. After my degree in 2019, I got the job as a maintenance engineer in one of the ball interactions at LKAB in Kiruna, and have worked there ever since.

Why did you choose Luleå University of Technology?

It felt like a natural choice for me, partly due to the technical profiling and the close collaboration with the industry in Norrbotten, partly due to the geographical location.

Why did you choose this education?

I wanted to study a technical education, and Luleå University of Technology offered a good distance engineering education that seemed to suit me, so the choice fell on a university engineer in maintenance technology. Being able to study at a distance was crucial for me, as I wanted to be able to stay in my hometown during my studies. In addition, the opportunities to get a job in the hometown looked very good after graduation, which was another one

What does a day at work look like for you?

It may sound cliché, but no two days are the same! A large part of the work consists of meetings with people, I meet both colleagues in the workplace and external suppliers almost daily in various forums. My work also includes a lot of administrative work, but the content varies depending on the area of responsibility and which activities are prioritized at the moment.

What is the best thing about your job?

That it is varied and that there are always new challenges to tackle, you will never be bored at work as a maintenance engineer! There is great development potential in the maintenance area, and it is very rewarding to see how the ongoing improvement work promotes long-term profitability and sustainability. Meeting people, both colleagues and external suppliers, is one of the most fun and rewarding parts of my job.

What benefit have you had from this education in working life?

The education has given me a broad knowledge in maintenance technology and a basic understanding of the role of maintenance work in being able to achieve both financial and environmental sustainability. It is quite unique in its kind with a focus on maintenance, and it becomes clear that there is a need for this type of knowledge so that we can handle all maintenance-related challenges in the future.

Do you have any tips for those who have just started studying maintenance at university / college?

A general tip for those studying at university is to spend time on their studies, right from the start of the course. Then you avoid unnecessary re-examinations because you have not had time to study enough. In addition, it will be more fun to study if you join the courses.